Copeland Mayor Mike Starkie

Copeland Mayor Mike Starkie

Mike Starkie Egremont 2Day February column:

I’D like to begin by wishing all readers of Egremont 2Day a very happy new year.

And what better way to enter into the new year than with the launch of a new campaign for our community, Copeland Pride of Place.

I’m extremely proud to be the Elected Mayor of this wonderful part of the world, and myself and Copeland Council are delighted to be leading this campaign to harness a sense of civic pride in our towns and villages.

I was born and bred in Egremont, and although my travels with work have taken me all over the country, I have never had any desire to move or raise my family anywhere else.

Why would I? Copeland has such a tremendous sense of community spirit, and the people here are the finest anywhere. We have scenery on our doorstep that is second to none, with two-thirds of the borough sitting in the Lake District, a World Heritage Site.

We have high hopes for the campaign and our aim is for it to be embraced by all corners of the Copeland community. And the initial response has been overwhelming, with schools, businesses, churches, town and parish councils, charities and sports clubs all signing up to play their part.
We are asking people in our community to shout up loud about why they are proud of Copeland – why they’re proud to live, work, visit or go to school here – and we’ll be sharing and promoting examples of pride and good citizenship throughout the campaign.
At the same time, we’ll be putting the focus on some of the negatives that blight our communities, such as fly-tipping, littering and dog-fouling. Our ambition is to improve the behaviour of the minority who do not share our sense of pride in Copeland.

It’s easy to be critical of local authorities, but the truth is that we all have a role to play in improving our surroundings and shining a light on those who detract from it.
The campaign is an extension of the £1 million Pride of Place Town Centre Regeneration project that we launched in the summer. We’re offering grants to businesses for improvements to their premises and the response from the business community has been extremely encouraging.

And we believe that this town centre scheme – running in parallel with the new awareness campaign – can be the catalyst for larger scale regeneration in our towns.

So how can you get involved? We’ve launched a dedicated Pride of Place website (www.copeland.gov.uk/content/copeland-pride-place), and social media pages (search Facebook for Copeland Pride of Place, and Twitter for @CBCPrideofPlace) so please join the Pride of Place community by ‘following us’, ‘liking us’ and sharing the message as widely as you can.

Why not tell us why you’re proud of Copeland – and what action you or those in your community are taking – either through the social media channels or on email to communications@copeland.gov.uk, and we’ll share your stories throughout the campaign.

And if you’d like to sign up your business or organisation to be part of the campaign then please get in touch with us.

Together we can make a real difference to this beautiful part of the world.